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Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2015

Enforcing The Fifteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz

Book Chapters

This chapter examines efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment in the period from United States v. Reese through Shelby County v. Holder. Reese and Shelby County expose the most rigorous stance the Court has employed to review congressional efforts to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, while the years in-between show Congress and the Court working more in tandem, at times displaying remarkable indifference to blatant violations of the Fifteenth Amendment, and elsewhere working cooperatively to help vindicate the Amendment’s promise. Defying simple explanation, this vacillation between cooperation and resistance captures the complex and deeply consequential way concerns about federal power ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


Engineering The Endgame, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2010

Engineering The Endgame, Ellen D. Katz

Michigan Law Review

This Article explores what happens to longstanding remedies for past racial discrimination as conditions change. It shows that Congress and the Supreme Court have responded quite differently to changed conditions when they evaluate such remedies. Congress has generally opted to stay the course, while the Court has been more inclined to view change as cause to terminate a remedy. The Article argues that these very different responses share a defining flaw, namely, they treat existing remedies as fixed until they are terminated. As a result, remedies are either scrapped prematurely or left stagnant despite dramatically changed conditions. The Article seeks ...


Congressional Power To Extend Preclearance: A Response To Professor Karlan, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2007

Congressional Power To Extend Preclearance: A Response To Professor Karlan, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Is the core provision of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional? Many people now think that the Act's preclearance requirement is invalid, but Professor Karlan is not among them. In part, that is because she is not convinced the problems that originally motivated Congress to impose preclearance have been fully remedied. Professor Karlan points out the many ways section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) shapes behavior in the jurisdictions subject to the statute--not just by blocking discriminatory electoral changes, but also by influencing less transparent conduct by various political actors operating in these regions. Do not be so ...


The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative And The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Carl Cohen Jan 2006

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative And The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Carl Cohen

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The underlying principle of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), adopted by state wide vote on 7 November 2006, is identical to that of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act provides: “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The recent passage of the MCRI results now in the inclusion [in Article 1, Section 26 of the Michigan constitution] of section ...


A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing: The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative As The Savior Of Affirmative Action, Ryan C. Hess Jan 2006

A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing: The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative As The Savior Of Affirmative Action, Ryan C. Hess

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The University of Michigan has long been a place of important discussions about civil and human rights. On the steps of the Michigan Student Union, only a few paces from the Law School, lies an inconspicuous marker where then-President John F. Kennedy, Jr. dedicated the United States Peace Core. During the Vietnam War, the University played host to significant protests that changed how we think about war and its consequences. Most recently, the University litigated a series of Supreme Court cases that have helped define the role of educational institutions in the quest for equality. This role promises to continue ...


What The Mcri Can Teach White Litigants About White Dominance, Adam Gitlin Jan 2006

What The Mcri Can Teach White Litigants About White Dominance, Adam Gitlin

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The ballots have barely been counted, but litigation to enjoin implementation of the now-codified Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (“MCRI”) or at least limit its effect on admissions practices in Michigan’s universities is already underway. One of the primary arguments against the MCRI—and the basis upon which some plaintiff professors assert standing—is that students will suffer an impaired education if current admissions practices are discarded. Assuming that the MCRI survives these legal challenges, educators should be consoled somewhat to know the MCRI may still offer some pedagogy as compensation: litigation will likely be brought to enforce its provisions ...


Disparate Impact And The Use Of Racial Proxies In Post-Mcri Admissions, Matthew S. Owen, Danielle S. Barbour Jan 2006

Disparate Impact And The Use Of Racial Proxies In Post-Mcri Admissions, Matthew S. Owen, Danielle S. Barbour

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (“MCRI”) amended the Michigan Constitution to provide that public universities, colleges, and school districts may not “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of . . . public education.” We argue that, in addition to prohibiting the overt use of racial preferences in admissions, the MCRI also prohibits using racial proxies such as socioeconomic status or a “Ten Percent Plan” that aim to prefer minorities in admissions. Though the MCRI does not expressly say so, we stipulate for this paper ...


"Framing Affirmative Action", Kimberlé W. Crenshaw Jan 2006

"Framing Affirmative Action", Kimberlé W. Crenshaw

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

With the passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (“MCRI”), Michigan joins California and Washington to constitute the new postaffirmative action frontier. For proponents such as Ward Connerly, affirmative action is on the edge of extinction. Connerly plans to carry his campaign against what he calls “racial preferences” to eight states in 2008, scoring a decisive Super-Tuesday repudiation of a social policy that he portrays as the contemporary face of racial discrimination. On the other side of the issue, proponents of affirmative action are struggling to regroup, fearful that the confluence of lukewarm support among Democratic allies, messy presidential politics ...


Documenting Discrimination In Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act Since 1982, Ellen D. Katz, Margaret Aisenbrey, Anna Baldwin, Emma Cheuse, Anna Weisbrodt Jan 2006

Documenting Discrimination In Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act Since 1982, Ellen D. Katz, Margaret Aisenbrey, Anna Baldwin, Emma Cheuse, Anna Weisbrodt

Other Publications

The Voting Rights Initiative ("VRI") at the University of Michigan Law School was created during the winter of 2005 to help inform [...] the debates that led to this latest congressional reauthorization and the legal challenge to it that is certain to follow. A cooperative research venture involving 100 students working under faculty direction set out to produce a detailed portrait of litigation brought since 1982 under Section 2. This Report evaluates the results of that survey. The comprehensive data set may be found in a searchable form at http://www.votingreport.org or http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/votingrights. The ...


Documenting Discrimination In Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act Since 1982, Ellen D. Katz, Margaret Aisenbrey, Anna Baldwin, Emma Cheuse, Anna Weisbrodt Dec 2005

Documenting Discrimination In Voting: Judicial Findings Under Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act Since 1982, Ellen D. Katz, Margaret Aisenbrey, Anna Baldwin, Emma Cheuse, Anna Weisbrodt

Other Publications

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of one of the most remarkable and consequential pieces of congressional legislation ever enacted. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ("the VRA") targeted massive disfranchisement of African-American citizens in numerous Southern states. It imposed measures drastic in scope and extraordinary in effect. The VRA eliminated the use of literacy tests and other "devices" that Southern jurisdictions had long employed to prevent black residents from registering and voting. The VRA imposed on these jurisdictions onerous obligations to prove to federal officials that proposed changes to their electoral system would not discriminate against minority voters. Resistance ...


Reinforcing Representation: Enforcing The Fourteenth And Fifteenth Amendments In The Rehnquist And Waite Courts, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2003

Reinforcing Representation: Enforcing The Fourteenth And Fifteenth Amendments In The Rehnquist And Waite Courts, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

A large body of academic scholarship accuses the Rehnquist Court of "undoing the Second Reconstruction," just as the Waite Court has long been blamed for facilitating the end of the First. This critique captures much of what is meant by those generally charging the Rehnquist Court with "conservative judicial activism." It posits that the present Court wants to dismantle decades' worth of federal antidiscrimination measures that are aimed at the "reconstruction" of public and private relationships at the local level. It sees the Waite Court as having similarly nullified the civil-rights initiatives enacted by Congress following the Civil War to ...


Equal Protection And Disparate Impact: Round Three, Richard A. Primus Jan 2003

Equal Protection And Disparate Impact: Round Three, Richard A. Primus

Articles

Prior inquiries into the relationship between equal protection and disparate impact have focused on whether equal protection entails a disparate impact standard and whether laws prohibiting disparate impacts can qualify as legislation enforcing equal rotection. In this Article, Professor Primus focuses on a third question: whether equal protection affirmatively forbids the use of statutory disparate impact standards. Like affirmative action, a statute restricting racially disparate impacts is a race-conscious mechanism designed to reallocate opportunities from some racial groups to others. Accordingly, the same individualist view of equal protection that has constrained the operation of affirmative action might also raise questions ...


Comment On Powell V. Mccormack, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1969

Comment On Powell V. Mccormack, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

The rapid pace of constitutional change during the past decade has blunted our capacity for surprise at Supreme Court decisions. Nevertheless, Powell v. McCormack is a surprising decision. Avoidance of politically explosive controversies was not one of the most notable characteristics of the Warren Court. And yet, it is one thing for the Court to do battle with the Congress in the service of important practical ends or when the necessity of doing so is thrust upon it by the need to discharge its traditional responsibilities. It is quite another to tilt at windmills, especially at a time when the ...